Oil prices start year with rise on demand hopes

TOKYO - Oil prices started the new year today with a gain amid hopes for stronger demand following a 7 percent surge in 2013.

Benchmark oil added 28 cents to $98.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Hopes for the solid demand in coming months are pegged to the signs of a recovery in the U.S., which is expected to help revive other major global economies.

Brent crude, a benchmark used to price international crudes used by many U.S. refiners, added 28 cents to $111.08.